Support

A restaurant specializing in traditional foods of a northwestern Chinese ethnic group has opened in Cherrydale.

Despite its minimal online presence, new Uyghur restaurant Bostan (3911 Langston Blvd) has already drawn customers from D.C. to the Shenandoah Valley looking to taste its regional dishes.

“If one [new] Uyghur restaurant opens… everybody knows,” said Tahir Imin, of D.C., who ate at Bostan last week with friends from New York.

Owner Abudushalamu Mirezhati was hard at work in the kitchen when ARLnow stopped by, but another kitchen worker tells us this is the first restaurant Mirezhati has opened. Bostan replaces Bistro 29, a casual Mediterranean spot that closed in January 2020.

In the dining room, Imin endorsed the lagman, a $13.95 dish featuring stir-fried meat and vegetables with “hand pulled noodles,” according to the restaurant’s menu.

Also on the menu are a range of kababs — filled with beef, lamb, chicken, salmon and grilled shrimp — as well as eggplant and Turkish shepherd salads, soups, dumplings, and a Uyghur flatbread called nan.

Like some other early patrons, Imin says he is Uyghur, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group connected to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), a diverse area that grows most of China’s cotton. The U.S. government, news outlets and others have accused China of genocide and human rights abuses against Uyghurs, though a four-year crackdown against the ethnic group is waning, according to some reports.

The close-knit community of Uyghurs in the U.S. remain connected to their homeland and culture, in part, through restaurants like Bostan.

“Its culture and food… music, everything is very special,” Imin said of the region, noting that Uyghurs consider themselves to “be an independent nation occupied by China.”

Bostan is the second restaurant to refresh business to the low-slung commercial building on Langston Blvd, which includes a 7-Eleven. The former Billy’s Cheesesteaks — which also closed in January 2020 — reopened as Billy’s Deli/Cafe in June under the ownership of Bill Hamrock, who stepped away from Billy’s Cheesesteaks five years ago.

Bostan opens at 11 a.m. daily, closing at 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

0 Comments

A long-time neighborhood restaurant serving the Cherrydale and Maywood communities is closing.

Portabellos: An American Cafe is set to serve its last meals on Saturday, Sept. 25. The restaurant, located within a small, one-story shopping strip at 2109 N. Pollard Street, has been open under its current ownership for 15 years.

In an email to customers, a version of which was also posted on its website, the restaurant cited pandemic-related business challenges and said it was “unable to come to an agreement with the landlord on how to move forward.”

To All Our Valued Guests

it is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Portabello’s an American Cafe. Our lease expired last year in June 2020 and this year we were unable to come to an agreement with the landlord on how to move forward both during and after the pandemic. We want to thank all of our wonderful guests and employees for supporting us over the last 15 years. What began as a little 54 seat restaurant on the corner of North Pollard street, tucked away grew into a place that had welcomed many guests that became like family to us . We are extremely humbled that so many embraced our restaurant and that we were able to succeed as long as we had. For a restaurant to survive and thrive right outside Washington, Dc for 15 years is an accomplishment of which we can be proud. We could not have done it without all of you! THANK you all for your love and support! We will be Officially close on Sept 25th, so please come through!

Nothing but LOVE for Arlington and the surrounding area!

Sincerely,
MJ, William, Jackie, Belldo, Mariono

A GoFundMe page, meanwhile, has been established by a local community member to help out the restaurant owner.

The pandemic “wiped out all of his savings,” says the fundraising page, which so far has raised more than $5,000 from 50 donors.

The extra cash could “lift spirits there a bit and help out,” notes a post promoting it on a local Facebook group.

More from the GoFundMe campaign:

Portabello’s has been around for 20 years and MJ has owned it for about 15 years. The Covid 19 pandemic, however, has taken it’s toll and the restaurant can no longer keep going. MJ Hussein says it has been very challenging during the Covid 19 pandemic and it wiped out all of his savings. He has not been able to pay his lease. The lease ran out last July and he and the landlord decided it’s best for them to part ways.

When MJ took over Portabello’s his youngest daughter was 6 month old and now she’s in 10th grade. He wants to spend time with his daughters and work on his mental health after a very trying 17 months. He is so thankful for Arlington and especially Cherrydale and Maywood, who have been like a family to MJ and his staff.

He mentioned he was going to try to sell the restaurant and would share the proceeds with his loyal staff who have been with him for many years.

I am skeptical he would find a buyer in the current climate of Covid. This GoFundMe is a gesture of good will to a restauranteer many of us have appreciated and enjoyed. MJ always made an effort to get to know his customers. He knew what people generally ordered and would stop by the tables to chat.

This GoFundMe page will be available until September 25, 2021.

Hat tip to Smiley456. Photo (2) via Google Maps.

0 Comments

A boy was walking his dog in Cherrydale when a stranger tried to engage him in conversation and then started following him around.

That’s according to Arlington County police, who describe the Saturday afternoon incident near the intersection of N. Monroe Street and 18th Street N. as an attempted abduction.

The suspect fled the scene in a black SUV and remains at large. Police say they are still investigating.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION, 2021-08070159, N. Monroe Street at 18th Street N. At approximately 3:47 p.m. on August 7, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the juvenile male victim was walking his dog in the area when the unknown male suspect attempted to engage him in conversation. The victim ran from the scene and observed the suspect following after him. As the victim returned to his residence, he observed the suspect turn and run back towards his vehicle. The suspect is described as an unknown race male, approximately 5’9″ to 5’10” tall, 170 – 180 lbs with long black hair. He was wearing a black long sleeve shirt, black ski hat, black pants with a tear on the right leg above the knee, a black mask and gray shoes. The suspect vehicle is described as a black SUV. A canvass of the area by responding officers concluded with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.

Billy’s Deli/Cafe is now open in Cherrydale (courtesy of Bill Hamrock)

Those who missed Billy’s Cheesesteaks in Cherrydale for the last year and a half can now get a taste of those sandwiches again.

Two weeks ago, Bill Hamrock — the old sandwich stop’s namesake and former co-owner — opened Billy’s Deli/Cafe at 3907 Lee Highway, the same spot where he opened Billy’s Cheesesteaks in 2011.

And Hamrock, who stepped away from Billy’s Cheesesteaks about five years ago, is back at the helm. While the name and menu may be familiar, he tells ARLnow that Billy’s Deli/Cafe is an entirely new business.

“Everything about it is better: new floors, new walls, new roof, new air conditioning. I think the food is better,” he said.

The new cafe is serving Billy’s famous cheesesteaks as well as other trusty dishes Hamrock says he has perfected, such as hot pita sandwiches, during his more than two decades in the food service industry. Hamrock also owns an eatery named for him in Fairfax City, Hamrock’s Restaurant.

In addition to chicken souvlaki, gyros, mozzarella chicken hot pita sandwiches and other fare, the deli and cafe will serve homemade ice cream and fresh-baked cookies, he said.

Back in January 2020 — just before the pandemic — ARLnow reported that Billy’s Cheesesteaks was closing temporarily along with the restaurant next door, Bistro 29. The then-owner, Kostas Kapasouris, told ARLnow the decision was so that he could “make the restaurants better.”

Eventually, both restaurants permanently closed. According to some new signage, a Uighur restaurant called Bostan is set to replace Bistro 29.

“Hopefully, they will be open in the next one, two, three months,” Hamrock said.

Next door, the new Billy’s space is 800 square feet and will cater to carryout, operating on several apps, including ChowNow, Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash.

“We’ll probably add to that as we go,” said Hamrock.

Those who do wish to sit at one of the eight seats inside the Lee Highway location will be greeted by a montage of historical photos of Arlington. Billy’s owner is a self-described history buff, who has written a book on Arlington history, called “We are Arlington.”

“I’m just excited about being back in Cherrydale and back in Arlington,” Hamrock said. “It’s a great neighborhood, great location. I like the neighbors and the community.”

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Motorcycle police officers lined up in Courthouse to escort a deceased member of the military to Arlington National Cemetery (photo courtesy Beth Ferrill)

Development Proposal for Ballston Macy’s — “The Ballston development pipeline continues to grow as plans come into focus for the Macy’s department store in northern Virginia.  Insight Property Group is seeking Arlington County’s approval to raze and replace the Macy’s/office building at 685 N. Glebe Road with a 16-story development, delivering 555 apartments above a grocery store. The project would transfer development rights and density from the affordable Tyrol Hill/Haven Apartments off Columbia Pike.” [UrbanTurf]

‘Arlington Superwoman’ Invited to White House — “Mariflor Ventura, also known as ‘Arlington Superwoman,’ tells 7News she has been personally invited to the White House for July 4th celebrations. The Bidens have said they plan to host first responders, essential workers, and military service members and their families on the South Lawn for a cookout and to watch the fireworks over the National Mall… Ventura was first featured by 7News in April for her tireless dedication to feed, clothe and provide for hundreds of immigrant families.” [ABC 7, ABC 7]

Why There’s a Bit of a Haze in the Sky — From the National Weather Service: “If the sky seems milky to you, it’s probably because of the high altitude smoke which has moved into the area from wildfires in the western US and Canada. This smoke will likely hang around at least through tomorrow.” [Twitter]

Record Year for Local Pet Adoptions — “The Animal Welfare League of Arlington found homes for a record-breaking number of dogs, cats and small animals during the fiscal year ending June 30, the organization announced on July 1. A total of 2,587 animals ‘were adopted into loving families and brought much-needed laughs, love and comfort’ during a tumultuous time, said Animal Welfare League CEO Sam Wolbert.” [Sun Gazette]

New Farmers Market Finds Success — “Vendors from Pennsylvania to the Northern Neck of Virginia traveled to Arlington Saturday morning to sell their vegetables and other goods at the inaugural Cherrydale Farmers Market in Arlington. The customer count was larger than organizers expected, especially from the time the market opened at 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Some vendors sold out of their goods long before the market wrapped up at noon.” [Patch]

More Libraries Open Today — “Starting July 6, Arlington residents and Library patrons will have access to five open library locations — Aurora Hills, Central, Columbia Pike, Shirlington and Westover libraries. Arlington Public Library will prioritize access to library collections, reintroduce core library services and feature new operating hours across the system.” [Arlington Public Library]

Nats Offer Prize for Summer Readers — “This year, the Washington Nationals are offering each reader who finishes Summer Reading one voucher for an upcoming baseball game. Each voucher is good for two free Nats tickets, while supplies last.” [Arlington Public Library]

Photo courtesy Beth Ferrill

0 Comments

(Updated at 9:30 p.m.) The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado caused the widespread damage seen in several North Arlington neighborhoods today.

The tornado struck around 9 p.m. Thursday night, touching down near the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road. It was rated as an EF1 — the second-lowest on the Enhanced Fujita scale — and cut a 125 yard-wide path of damage as it made its way east through several neighborhoods, before moving into D.C. Maximum winds were estimated at 90 mph.

The twister’s 4.4 mile path ended on the National Mall, between the Washington Monument and the White House. A second tornado, rated EF0, struck near H Street NE in the District, according to forecasters.

Tornado path (via National Weather Service)

In Arlington last night, the tornado uprooted trees, tore siding and shingles off houses, and turned trampolines and branches into projectiles.

Residents tell ARLnow they had just seconds from when their phones started blaring the Tornado Warning, shortly before 9 p.m., and when the rotating storm struck and caused havoc.

Much of the reported damage happened along the well-defined, roughly west-to-east line from the City of Falls Church and through Tara-Leeway Heights, Waverly Hills, Cherrydale and Lyon Village, before crossing the Potomac into D.C. along the National Mall.

Waverly Hills and Cherrydale suffered the worst of the storm’s fury, starting around Woodstock Park and moving along an easterly route just south of Lee Highway. The extent of the damage was evident this morning after the sun came up and chainsaws started buzzing over a large stretch of the neighborhoods.

At Woodstock Park this morning, children were playing despite the tree carnage that littered the park with fallen trees, branches and leaves. Jill Rabach was out surveying the damage to her house, just south of the park. An oak tree was leaning on her home’s roof and her next door neighbor’s fence was crushed by multiple falling trees.

“We heard the Tornado Warning and went to the basement,” Rabach recounted. “About 15 minutes later when all the noise died down we came upstairs and saw a little bit of damage not much. Power was out. By morning it was clear there was much more damage. All the houses on the street lost significant trees.”

“We’ve lived here for 15 years and there haven’t been many storms that blow that hard, that fast,” she added.

The damage continued along 20th Road N., east of the park, with tree crews hard at work clearing branches. Turning right onto N. Utah Street, the road was still blocked by a large fallen tree at 19th Road N.

Heading back up the street, more signs of a violent storm: Multiple downed trees damaged roofs, broke windows and crushed fences; siding from an unknown house lay next to a sidewalk; trash cans were lifted up and blown into neighboring yards. And stuck in a tree near the road was an unusual sight — a large trampoline.

A family in the area said their storm door swung upon so violently it became lodged into and damaged a railing.

“We got the Tornado Warning and within 30 seconds, our front door burst open. And the whole house shook and rattled,” said René Madigan. “Like it all had to have all happened at once. It pulled down all of our power lines… the house next door, it blew their door wide open, too. They have a lot more damage to their home than we have. We were blessed.”

Madigan recounted the sound of the storm as it struck the normally quiet residential neighborhood.

“I heard a horrible sound. Like it was a really horrible sound. And then the whole house just was doing this,” she said, shaking her arms. “And it just happened so fast.”

“Tornado! Get in!” Madigan recalled shouting as the family took cover.

“I heard it and I was in the basement,” Madigan’s husband said of the noise. “First I thought like a big china cabinet fell down. It sounded like… a really loud explosion.”

One street over, and also to the east, residents were out cleaning up. One house had a blue tarp on the roof, but a neighbor said nothing fell on it — shingles were ripped off at the height of the storm.

Over on N. Stafford Street, Jeff Jackson was picking up tree branches across the street from St. Agnes Catholic School in Cherrydale. The Arlington native now lives in Portland, Oregon, but is home taking care of his mother. He was at a friend’s house nearby as the storm approached.

Read More

0 Comments

A new farmers market in Cherrydale will open in a few weeks following a vote by the County Board last night (Tuesday).

Ahead of the vote, some residents — chiefly worried about noise early in the morning — told Board members the market will be a rotten deal for their neighborhood. The issue drew 14 speakers for and against the proposal and the discussion lasted one hour, prompting some Board members to hasten to a vote and move on.

The new market will attract up to 20 vendors to its location at Dorothy Hamm Middle School (4100 Vacation Lane). Its first day is expected to be Saturday, July 3; starting next year, the market will operate from April through November. Field to Table, an Arlington-based nonprofit that facilitates the markets at Lubber Run, Fairlington and Westover, will manage the market.

Sales will start at 8 a.m. and end at noon. The School Board is set to approve an agreement during its Thursday, June 24 meeting.

Concerned residents asked for a 9 a.m. start time to allow for more quiet time in the morning. While the County Board ultimately sided with an 8 a.m. start time, proposed by staff and requested by Field to Table, they did extend an olive branch to residents in the form of a County Board review of the market in six months.

“Having lived through this with my Fairlington community, there was a lot of concerns about noise, and I would hear about it on walks,” Board member Libby Garvey said. “I have not been hearing about complaints since, and I’m fairly confident that this will work out fine.”

Local resident Joan Perry predicted that with this level of concern over the impact on the neighborhood, the market will not succeed, just like a community-supported agriculture program in the neighborhood failed.

“The farmers market is supposed to serve the immediate community surrounding the school, the very people opposed to the market who did not support the CSA,” she said.

Neighbor Simone Acha asked for a later start time so her Saturday mornings would not be unduly disturbed.

“We know from having lived through almost four years of construction at Dorothy Hamm Middle School that noise is very disruptive,” she said.

Others were excited at the prospect of a walkable market.

“I can’t think of a better place to hold the farmers market,” said Marcy Gessel.

Neighboring civic associations advocated for starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. The Donaldson Run Civic Association conditioned its support on — among other requests — this start time.

“A farmers market located in this kind of neighborhood setting, such substantial disruption of nearby DRCA residents on a weekend morning is unreasonable,” wrote Bill Richardson, the president of the Donaldson Run Civic Association. “For those living near Hamm Middle School, who have already had to endure many years of construction activity, this burden is particularly distressing.”

In response to the concerns, ahead of the Tuesday Board meeting, staff added language governing noise levels, limiting vendor parking to one road, and suggested both a staff and County Board review.

Attempting to wrap up the discussion and propose a resolution that would work for everyone, Board member Katie Cristol nodded to some mothers and children in the audience of the County Board meeting. They were waiting to speak about a later agenda item: county attempts to improve conditions at the Serrano Apartments, an affordable housing complex in Columbia Pike.

“I’m cognizant that we have some really important items, as I know our chair feels acutely — and it’s bedtime in some cases — so I think we should try to be moving forward,” Cristol said.

By the time the Serrano discussion started, however, those families had to leave, according to Rev. Pete Nunnally, the assistant rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

“I wonder what the conversation was between the mothers who brought their kids here but had to wait so long, so long that they had to go home, while white people argued about a farmers market,” he said.

0 Comments

A new installation outside Dorothy Hamm Middle School tells the story of the four students who integrated the building, formerly Stratford Junior High School, six decades ago.

Four free-standing panels and a wall-mounted panel, connected by a trail, depict Gloria Thompson, Ronald Deskins, Lance Newman and Michael Jones — the four students who desegregated the building on Feb. 2, 1959 — as well as Dorothy Hamm, the new school’s namesake and prominent civil rights activist in Arlington, and Barbara Johns, who at 16 led a student strike for equal education at a high school in Farmville, Virginia.

During a dedication ceremony for the new Stratford Commemorative Trail on Friday, several speakers said the installation equally inspires children to achieve greatness and charges Arlington Public Schools to continue making history.

“Rest assured that every child will leave this school knowing the civil rights history that happened here, understanding that while four students did begin the desegregation process in 1959, many others were denied that opportunity, and it came later,” school Principal Ellen Smith said. “Our students must know that as citizens of our school, our county, our state and our nation, they have the responsibility to speak up, to say something and make good trouble, as [former Rep.] John Lewis so aptly stated.”

The panels challenge those who walk the trail to take action and remind middle schoolers can make a difference at their age, she added.

In 2016, the school was designated a local historic district and APS convened a committee to find a way to honor its history. Soon after, APS embarked on a process to convert the school at 4100 Vacation Lane from a building housing the H-B Woodlawn and Stratford programs to a neighborhood middle school. It was renamed for Hamm and reopened to students in 2019. Final touches were finished during the 2020-21 school year.

Read More

0 Comments

More than one year after all Arlington Public Library branches were shuttered due to the coronavirus, five branches remain closed. 

This summer and fall, the library is looking to reopen four of these branches, which currently only allow people to drop books off.

“Based on the recently approved Arlington County FY22 Budget, the Library plans to expand open locations after July 1, as hiring and training of new staff allows,” said a recent announcement from the library system.

The Aurora Hills branch and the newly renovated Columbia Pike branch could open in July. Next up would be the Cherrydale and Glencarlyn branches, which the library announcement said could open “by fall 2021 and sooner if possible.”   

Three locations are currently open. Central Library allows people to pick up the books they have on hold, while the Shirlington and Westover branches are open for 30 minutes of in-person browsing with self-service checkout.

The library is also looking to expand services at these three locations. It aims to increase access to library collections, public computers and public space at all locations while keeping social distancing in mind. 

Remaining closed, for now, is the branch in the lobby of county government headquarters in Courthouse.

“The Plaza branch will remain closed in preparation for a long-planned expansion and renovation,” the announcement said. 

Arlington Public Library is planning for socially distanced outdoor programs this summer. Among these include outdoor storytimes, which will kick off Tuesday, May 18 at Central Library.

Its summer reading challenge will begin June 1, and Arlington Public Library’s mobile truck will “continue to hit the road and be visible at community events.”

One change of note for returning library patrons: during the pandemic, Arlington Public Library permanently eliminated late fees, a change intended to “make the library more accessible to all.”

Photo via Arlington Public Library

0 Comments

Parts of Arlington County have been experiencing power problems this morning.

Currently, more than 1,200 power customers are reported to be in the dark in the Virginia Square, Cherrydale and Ballston neighborhoods, according to an outage map from Dominion Energy.

Some complication have been reported from that outage, including tripped fire alarms, smoke from generators starting up, non-functioning traffic signals and a potential power surge in a building.

Several traffic light issues were reported earlier this morning, in Clarendon and Ballston. It’s unclear if those problems are related to the current power outage.

https://twitter.com/WTOPtraffic/status/1374341756666384392

Update at 11:05 a.m. — The outage is down to about 350 Dominion customers, per the power company’s website.

0 Comments


This neighborhood in Arlington County doesn’t just have a great name — it also stands out as one of the best places to live in Virginia.

Like all of Arlington, the real estate market in Cherrydale is thriving right now. We are seeing a ton of traffic as people are moving up from Arlington condos to the single-family homes in this bucolic locale. So join the Keri Shull Team today as we share everything you need to know about the in-demand Cherrydale neighborhood of Arlington.

And, as always, if you have any questions about Arlington real estate, please contact the Keri Shull Team, the No. 1 top-selling real estate team in the Washington, D.C. area.

Location is Everything

Cherrydale is a lovely suburban neighborhood in northern Arlington, sitting just to the north of the Orange Line Corridor. The area is bordered on the south by I-66 and stretches across US-29, which contributes to the convenient commutes that help keep Cherrydale popular.

Although you might not expect it from Cherrydale’s relaxed, suburban atmosphere, the neighborhood directly abuts some of Arlington’s busiest areas. In particular, Cherrydale sits right to the north of Clarendon and Virginia Square. This means that the area is perfect for people who work in Arlington or attend school at one of the prestigious institutions along the Orange Line.

A Life in the Cherry Orchard

Cherrydale’s history traces back to the late 1800s when a post office opened in the area and took its name from a nearby cherry orchard. Today, that long history is still apparent in Cherrydale, thanks to a plethora of well-maintained homes that were built in the early 1900s.

Speaking of homes, most of the houses for sale in Cherrydale are single-family homes. When paired with the quiet streets and lush greenery, this helps give Cherrydale a classic, suburban feel.

Cherrydale is well known for its exceptional public schools, job opportunities, outdoor activities, and easy commuting. This family-friendly neighborhood is one at the top of our list. The local community organization hosts numerous events to bring residents together, including their Annual Neighborhood Yard Sale and Fourth of July Block Party.

Owning a Home in Cherrydale

In general, houses in Cherrydale hold their property value and appreciate well, meaning that buying a home in the neighborhood can be a smart investment for many people.

So why are homes in such high demand in Cherrydale? Cherrydale’s market remains hot because it’s the neighborhood that has it all. With both a family-friendly atmosphere and easy access to all of the nightlife and entertainment in Arlington, this community is thriving right now.

Getting Around ARL

We rate Cherrydale 10/10 when it comes to commuting. The neighborhood is within walking or biking distance of the Virginia Square and Ballston Metro stops. This means that residents can easily access the conveniences of D.C. and NoVA via the Orange Line.

Plus, with a respectable Walkscore of 74, it is very possible to take care of daily errands via foot, all without sacrificing the quiet of suburbia.

The real estate market is thriving in Cherrydale right now because it is a popular and desirable neighborhood. Thanks to the quiet, regal beauty of the area — as well as the amazing transit options and walkability — Cherrydale continues to be a hotspot in Arlington real estate.

On top of this, we are seeing an increasing interest in single-family homes in 2021, with more and more condominiums going on the market as families outgrow their homes. This means people are moving away from high-rise neighborhoods like Rosslyn or Ballston and into more suburban locals — such as Cherrydale.

This means if you want to find a home in Cherrydale, you need to have every advantage that you can get!

How to Find a Home in Cherrydale

At the Keri Shull Team, we have hundreds of off-market properties that you cannot find online or anywhere else, and we want to give you priority access to these homes before they even go on the market!

And if you are selling a house in Arlington, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are taking the proper precautions to protect your investment. The best way to do that is to speak with a top-tier real estate agent and create a completely customized home selling strategy.

So what are you waiting for? Schedule a time for a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our Real Estate Needs Analysts!

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list